Updated: Oct 12, 2021
This is a rough one.
Been a trying week. Everyday life aside.
Working with a dog with extremely deep rooted anxiety toward anything that moves, sounds like something is moving, people. People that go around a corner and come back can trigger him.
This is NOT an obedience issue. It is strictly behavioral. Getting mad, upset or judgemental is not solving anything. Giving sedatives can help dilute the intensity but does nothing to help the dog improve and learn coping techniques.
That's where we must step in..and up to the plate. Teaching this can be slow and yes, exhausting at times.
We, as a culture have lost the capacity for patience. We want things now.
That includes our dogs behaviors or habits we don't like. Stop for a minute. This did not develop in just a day. How selfish are we to expect change in minutes or a day?
Anxiety in dogs is not normal. Some exceptions could be if your puppy is born with some sort of neurological concern to trigger this behavior.
So what could be some causes?
Great question as it may be more than once thing.
Improper socialization. Not letting your puppy have positive experiences around multitudes of things. A simple lack of socializing. Lack of enrichment activities with your pup. This is about engaging with your puppy. Giving puppy activities to think and problem solve. This builds confidence.
So is adult dog anxiety all on the pet owner?
Not necessarily. When you have done everything you know and finally got to your vet for information and help. Now when your vet just puts your puppy on a sedative to help there has been a band-aid put on and overgrowing tumor. Does it help? Sometimes, yes. But never gets to root of the anxiety. Your dog will always be anxious. Your vet did you and your puppy a disservice by not directing you toward help. Again, this isn't an obedience issue so a sit, stay, place trainer will not help.
So what should we expect when we get help?
First, a person that doesnt promise to "fix" your puppy. Puppy isn't a broken toaster. Second. This professional should be up front and honest. Third.Use no aversive tools or technique to force a quick change.
Bottom line, this type of issue takes time. Sometimes weeks, in some cases months to get the results you hope to achieve. Depending on severity, in some cases it may even be a life of management.
Ill end this with:
PLEASE stop listening to the neighbor down the street, the keyboard warrior on facebook that has had one or two dogs and they did "this" and it stopped immediately!!!
Find and seek advice from someone That has invest money to learn and gain education from every possible seminar, course, mentorship, continuous learning from as many experts as possible in this field and learning with and from too many dogs to keep track of anymore.
Love your pets the way they live you!!!